become an RTO

Why listening is your greatest gift as an RTO leader

Providing leadership can sometimes be a stress full thing. Maybe that is why some people stop doing it even though it is needed.

RTO’s need leadership. They need to have a sense of direction, rather than just bouncing between training course after training course. People are stressed, and working hard. People are also resigning, and that causes problems and delays for RTOs.

Whilst there are so many theories on leadership and people telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, I have found with my clients, and myself that the truth to leadership is being true to yourself.

Being true to yourself, and communicating your truth.

When you are being true to yourself, you are completely honest with what you feel, deeply value, and desire. It means communicating your feelings wholeheartedly both with yourself and others, allowing your truth to flow through you and into the world. It means being true to ourselves and living with authenticity and integrity, and from this place you cultivate a deep and trusting relationship with yourself and others.

Good communication skills set you and your RTO apart when others fall short. It is these skills that help you to ensure those around you are aware of what they need and need to do to achieve your RTO goals. Your RTO is your dream, that dream will only be achieved if you communicate what it is to others who are there to support you. I speak to so many RTO owners who have a great passion for their industry, a passion that held true long enough for them to set up their RTO. That passion though can get bent when things don’t go well in your business.

By communicating your values you inspire employees to do their best and stay in the company.

Telling stories that inspire and motivate the team engage them in their initiatives and to achieve your quarterly goals. You want your staff loving their work, loving what they do, showing you how they share your dream. You’re looking to have an RTO where students love being in your courses, and telling others how amazing your RTO is.  

The ability to communicate your business goals clearly and to share what is needed to be done for the organisation is one of the most important leadership skills used across worldwide companies. Yet I see in RTO’s that this step is so often missed.

Successful leaders listen to themselves and understand what is being said, and how it is being said. Listening to your inner voice that guides you forward in about being responsible. Making sure it is not putting you down, or your thoughts are stopping you from moving forward. Treat yourself with curiosity and kindness. When you communicate you do it to engage listeners, gain enthusiasm and ultimately create bonds of trust between your team and you.

Great leaders STOP and listen to their staff as they speak in order to move their business forward. By listening to others including your team you can find out more about them, what they want, how you can get them involved more in projects, or challenge them. This is what keeps people working for you, and enjoying their work. They want to feel empowered and valued. They deserve to be listened to.

They also listen to their stakeholders, their clients and what they want. Even if you have listened to them two years ago, chances are, that is no longer their desire. With all the changes happening in the world, clients now look at training in a different way. I know a strong desire from my consulting and coaching of RTO’s and other businesses people are looking for shorter courses. Less is more.

Instead RTO leaders are running around gathering information, jumping onto the next best thing and running, dragging their staff along behind them. This causes staff to burn out and at worst leave.

Listening brings clarity and the ability to work together, understanding of problems, and to know what is needed to move the business forward in its strategy. They know how to listen and give honest and empathetic feedback to help people open up about work issues. Maybe even this listening will show you that the target has been moved, and now your ideal student is someone else!

Great RTO leaders accept responsibility.

When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. Being empathetic, showing the behaviour you want from your team, and taking responsibility for your actions will show up positively in your team and results. People will want to stay in your RTO and support your dream. Being responsible means defining the responsibilities of each team member and guiding them in ways to achieve that role.

Recognising and acknowledging each team member’s accomplishments, will inspire others to do the same.

When you next want to add to your teams already huge tasks, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Should we have asked that staff member to do that task?
  • Do they have the right skills to do it?
  • Have they already got too much on their plate?
  • Did we provide the best support or coaching to them to enable them to do it?
  • Can we afford to bring in support to achieve the task?
  • Have I been monitoring the budget?

Asking questions like these allows us to see the answers and how we can lead our RTO forward from where we currently are.

Listen to the need for your own mental health. You might need to take some time off, a day or a week, to do something fun. Taking a break helps to listen to your heart and your gut, and the answers will flow naturally.

How can you think differently with your RTO?

Change will happen.

The key is in your communication and listening skills.


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